Due to the coronavirus and the change in our daily activities, the likelihood of needing a Houston slip and fall lawyer has increased. This is because going to Wal-Mart, HEB, Kroger, the Dollar Store, Target and other stores have increasingly become a family outing because of “stay at home” orders and closures in Austin, Pflugerville, Victoria, Houston, Texas and their surrounding cities aimed to stop the spread of Covid-19. There are more and more slip and fall injuries so although a slip and fall may be considered minor to a company or store, slip and fall injuries can potentially lead to severe injuries that not only turn out to be costly from a financial standpoint but also life-altering in some cases.
Our slip and fall lawyers, at Jerome O. Fjeld, PLLC, know how tough it must be for you when you are injured in a slip, or trip and fall and our law firm is ready to help you get fully compensated so contact us today by submitting the form below or calling us!
Business owners such as Wal-Mart, HEB, Kroger, Target and other retail stores in Houston, TX have the duty to maintain a safe environment for their visitors and shoppers. They are required by law to ensure that safety standards are met so customers do not suffer slip and fall injuries. This includes identifying and correcting hazardous conditions such as wet floors or poor lighting on their property or putting up warning signs. Failure to do so makes them liable for any slip and fall cases that occur. You deserve maximum compensation from the insurance companies if you were injured in a slip and fall accident due to a property owner’s negligence or carelessness and should contact us immediately for a free case review.
Statistics of Slip and Fall Accidents
You are not alone.
In fact, the figures will surprise you. Here is how common slip and fall cases are in the US.
According to the National Safety Council, over 25,000 slip and fall accidents happen around the country every day. That means you are not an isolated case, and unless you do something about it, the number of these accidents will stay high. Making a slip and fall accident claim with an injury accident attorney will not only help you recover financially but play a role in making business premises safer.
Slip and fall accidents can result in serious injury with 8 million hospital emergency room visits annually. According to the National Safety Council, It represents more emergency room visits than car accident cases. Injuries that warrant a visit to the emergency room often come with substantial medical bills.
Our slip and fall lawyers understand the pain and suffering and financial setback such an accident can cause and is therefore committed to helping victims get compensated. If you or your loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, you can rely on our slip and fall attorney’s expertise in ensuring your personal injury claim is successful. Contact Jerome O. Fjeld, PLLC, today for a free consultation and free case review.
Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
Slips and falls can happen anywhere on someone else’s property. Especially now due to Covid-19 stay-at-home orders and closings being issued in Texas and as people flock to stores like Wal-Mart, HEB, Kroger, Target, and other grocery stores or retail stores as an excuse to get out of the house. However, you are only eligible for compensation if the accident occurred on someone else’s property that you are legally allowed to visit. Slip and fall accidents frequently happen on the following types of properties in Houston, Texas, Austin, Victoria and surrounding areas that our law firm serves.
- Restuarants and bars
- Hotels and Motels
- Retail stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, Dollar Store, Ross, Marshall’s, Family Dollar etc.
- SuperMarkets such as H-E-B, Kroger, Randalls, Fiesta, Phoenicia, Central Market, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods etc.
- Private schools
- Water Parks such as Splashtown, Typhoon Texas, Schlitterbahn, Pirate’s Bay, etc
- Go-cart Parks such as Houston Grand Prix, Go Kart Raceway, Track 21, Speedy’s Fast Track
- Banquet halls, party halls, and wedding venues
- Office buildings and corporate companies
- Sidewalks and parking lots
- Grocery stores and stalls
- Flea Markets
The owners of such properties are required by law to meet the OSHA standards. However, there are property owners who take short cuts and therefore expose people to slip and fall accidents. Most of these owners anticipate such falls and have dedicated teams to act fast in cleaning up the evidence. You, therefore, need to act first before the problem is repaired and evidence needed by your fall accident lawyers is lost.
Our Houston slip and fall lawyers can pursue the claim on your behalf as you take your time to fully recover physically. Our injury lawyer is motivated to help you get back on your feet, both literally and figuratively and it is important to contact us for a free case review immediately.
Common Causes of a Slip and Fall Case
Although you can slip and fall can happen anytime, an unsafe floor makes it more likely to happen and increases the potential for severe injuries. Some of the conditions of the floor that may predispose people to slips and falls include the following:
- Wet floors and paddles
- Worn or torn carpet
- Slick floors, ramps, or stairs
- Uneven floors
- Loose floorboards
Broken Stairs, Rails, & Balconies
When you go up a flight of stairs, you trust that the stairs are firm and the rails will prevent falls off the stairs. However, it might not be the case in some business premises. The following are some of the conditions that may result in severe injuries:
- Broken rails
- Broken stairs
- Rotted or Rotting balconies and rails
Unsafe walkways and sidewalks can result in slips, trips and falls. Some of the things that can make walkways and business premises hazardous to visitors include the following:
- Poor lighting
- Obstacles and trip hazards in the walkway
- Poor lighting
- Electrical cords and stray wires
- Elevation changes in walkways
Finally, broken surfaces can result in a Houston slip and fall case and can cause a dangerous condition. Parties responsible are expected to cover these broken surfaces or put up adequate signage to alert people of the danger. Broken surfaces include the following:
- Walk ways
Sadly, most people end up giving up on their slip and fall accident claim and never talk with an injury accident attorney. Our slip and fall accident attorney is here to help you prove that your slip and fall injury was the property owner’s fault.
Common Slip and Fall Accident Injuries
Even though there is great potential for causing serious injuries, some people still consider a slip and fall a minor accident. It’s the reason behind the perception that it is more startling than harmful. But the truth is that most of these accidents result in serious injuries that require medical attention. According to the CDC, one out of five falls results in serious injuries. Common injuries in a slip and fall case include the following:
Fracture of bones is one of the most adverse consequences of slip and fall cases. It happens in about 5% of all the people who fall.
Most slips and falls can result in broken bones. At times, it’s not how hard you fall but rather how you fall. Even though you may think a fall is minor it can result in injuries similar to a car accident such as serious fractures to your bones. Additionally, your bones in your hand and arm may break as you try to brace for impact. Fractures happen as you hit the floor or a nearby object. Older adults are more likely to be seriously injured and tend to suffer hip fractures that require surgery.
All fractures require immediate medical attention. Compound and open fractures will often necessitate emergency surgeries to try and save your leg and ensure you regain the best possible function of your legs or hands. You may also have to go through several follow up surgeries and extensive rehabilitation.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Slip and fall accidents can result in traumatic brain injury or TBI. This injury occurs when you hit your head suddenly. It is among the most severe potential consequences of slip and fall accidents. When the force of impact exceeds your skull’s protective mechanisms, damage to your brain tissue occurs. This may result in the following:
A slip and fall can also result in the injury of the other parts of the head. These injuries are often life-threatening and therefore warrant an immediate visit to the hospital emergency room. Common head injuries include:
· Face injury
· Ear injury
· Scalp lacerations and hematomas
· Skull fractures
Facial and ear injuries require extensive treatment that is often very costly. Additionally, you may require reconstructive surgery to help with the cosmetics. You probably already know that plastic surgery is expensive. Bearing the financial burden alone can leave you drained. That is why our slip and fall accident lawyers are always ready and willing to help you get compensated for all the damages.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Getting involved in a slip and fall accident can result in serious injury to soft tissues. The soft tissues that are commonly injured include:
One of the most common injuries when it comes to soft tissues is sprains. Twisting of a leg during a slip and fall, for instance, may result in a sprain that could ground you for days. Although a sprain can often be sorted through first aid, it is advisable that you seek medical attention so that your treatment can be documented. It serves as evidence when you lodge your slip and fall accident claim.
Injury to your soft tissues may result in the limited ability to move. Simple tasks like work may become a challenge. Physical therapy may be needed to get your body back to optimal function. Our slip and fall lawyer in Houston TX, can help you find justice when the accident resulted from another person’s negligence.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Neck & Back Injuries
Apart from injury to your spinal cord, slip and fall accidents can result in extensive neck and back injuries. These injuries are often associated with severe pain and a high likelihood of mobility issues. Some of the most common neck and back injuries include the following:
· Crick in the neck- due to sudden movement in the neck, which results in pain
· Muscle strains- a strain in the muscles that control the movement of the spine
· Neck sprain- overstretching or overloading of a joint resulting in injury to the ligaments
· Whiplash Associated Disorders- injuries that can cause damage to the discs
· Disk herniation- may compress the spinal cord or nerves resulting in pain
· Vertebral bone fracture- fracture of the bones of the neck and back, for instance, cervical bones
· Dislocation- may result in spine instability
· Stingers and burners- injury to nerves at the root can result in a stinging and burning sensation
Neck and back injuries can keep you from working. Additionally, you may find it challenging to carry out your normal activities. It is therefore only fair that the premises owner compensates you for economic and non-economic damages. No matter if you are seriously injured or suffered minor injuries you deserve to be compensated that is why it is important to contact a slip and fall lawyer.
In severe cases, a slip and fall injury can be fatal. In fact, the National Safety Council puts falls as the third leading cause of unintentional death in our country. The situation is worse when it comes to workplaces as these accidents are the second leading cause of preventable death. That’s why the National Safety Council has implemented safety training to help control this problem.
Death can result as a complication of any of the above injuries. For instance, an open fracture could result in excessive bleeding, which is fatal if not addressed in time. Traumatic brain injury, especially of the part that controls breathing, can also cause death.
While a victim can die right at the slip and fall accident scene, most deaths occur as a consequence of the severity of the injuries. That means that by the time of death, the medical bills would have significantly increased.
If you lost a loved one or were seriously injured due to a slip and fall accident, our legal team understands the pain and suffering and life changing injuries and harm you are going through. You deserve maximum compensation for all the medical treatment, expenses incurred, loss of earning capacity and the emotional trauma caused when someone fails to keep a premises safe. We have an experienced slip and fall attorney in Houston who provides a free consultation and free case review and can help you get fully compensated.
Slip and Fall Accidents & Seniors
Older adults are at a higher risk of sustaining serious injuries when it comes to slip and fall accidents. Additionally, they are more likely to be injured in a slip or trip and fall due to their deteriorating health and are more likely to need medical treatment.
One out of every four Americans aged 65 years or older experience a fall, according to CDC. Sadly, only half of this population inform their doctor. Annually, 3 million older adults visit hospital emergency rooms with slip and fall injury.
Fatalities in older adults due to slip and fall accidents have also been on the rise. Statistics show that fall death rates among older adults in the US have increased by 30% between 2007 and 2016. If the death rates continue to increase, it has been estimated that there will be 7 fall deaths per hour by 2030.
In Texas, there are over 30,000 fall-related hospitalizations among adults aged 65years and above. Like the rest of the country, Houston Texas has not been spared.
Common Injuries in Seniors
The most common slip and fall injury for seniors involved in Houston slip and fall accidents include the following:
· Hip fractures
· Traumatic brain injuries
Every year, about 300,000 persons aged 65 years and older are hospitalized for hip fractures. An astonishing 95% of these hip fractures are caused by falls.
These fractures require surgeries, which are risky for older persons. Besides, the road to recovery is tough. Victims will often need rehabilitation. In many cases, these injuries are life-altering. Your loved one may have to move to an assisted living facility for the rest of their life.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Falls are the most common cause of a TBI injury in seniors, according to the CDC. Their quality of life is more often than not adversely impacted by the TBI’s short-term and long-term consequences. Never underestimate even a minor slip and fall injury. It may result in severe brain injury, especially among seniors taking certain medications like blood thinners. After a fall, getting checked out by a doctor and seeking medical treatment is essential to ensure there is no brain injury.
Pursue a Claim with a Houston Slip and Fall Lawyer
You may have assumed that the insurance company will challenge your slip and fall injury because of your age. However, as long a hazardous or dangerous condition existed on a business premise that caused the fall or the trip, you are eligible for compensation.
Call us today so the accident lawyers at our personal injury lawyers can provide a free consultation and free case review. During the case review, our slip and fall lawyer, in Houston TX, will advise you of your legal options and the best approach to your injury claim. Our slip and fall accident attorney is here to ensure the insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you have just been injured in a slip and fall accident, follow the following steps to ensure your safety and eligibility for compensation.
- If your are injured in a slip or trip and fall report it to the business owner
- Make sure the business owner writes a report to document the dangerous condition & slip and fall injuries
- Take photographs of the scene and the dangerous condition
- Seek medical attention
- Contact the law firm of personal injury lawyer Jerome O. Fjeld, PLLC for a free case review
1. Report the Incident to the Business Owner
You must report the incident to management immediately. Clearly communicate what happened and what you think caused the slip and fall or the trip and fall. Ensure that they document the dangerous condition and your slip and fall injuries but don’t sign anything or consent to anything without speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Houston.
The management will file an incident report once you let them know what happened. It’s a requirement that has to be met and make sure they provide you a copy to give to your slip and fall lawyers.
As an advantage to you, the accident report can serve as evidence for your Houston slip and fall law firm to use. It will show that the slip and fall accident actually happened and help prove your slip and fall case. It will also make the company preserve any surveillance video of the scene put the insurance company on notice. The business owner will not be able to dispute whether your accident actually happened on their premises. Your claim, therefore, stands a better chance of being successful and getting top compensation.
2. Take Photographs
Photographs of the hazardous condition can also provide evidence that helps prove the property owner was negligent. If you have a few minutes before being taken to the emergency room for your personal injury you should take some pics with your smartphone.
Of course, you will only be able to do this if your injuries are not severe. You may ask for help from someone nearby in case you cannot do it yourself. If you don’t have pictures the business or insurance companies may take pictures that will help them prove they kept the premises safe.
Ensure the photographs are clear and cover the entire area. The chances are that the property owners will rectify the hazardous condition as soon as possible to hide the evidence. Photographs are therefore critical before the scene is tampered with by the business owners.
3. Seek Medical Treatment
Slip and fall accidents in Houston, TX have the potential to result in severe injuries that, if not addressed early, may result in serious long-term complications or even death. You should therefore put your safety first and contact emergency medical services.
A timely diagnosis can sometimes be life changing or even save your life. Some injuries may not seem that bad until you begin to deteriorate rapidly. Ensure you get checked up even for injuries that appear minor. In case you feel the injuries are severe, do not attempt to move as you may worsen the injuries, especially those involving your neck and back.
Medical records will serve as evidence when you decide to pursue a slip and fall accident claim. The records will show that you were actually injured, and the injuries were a consequence of the slip and fall accident. Official emergency medical records also show how much your medical bills are for seeking medical attention.
4. Contact our Houston Slip and Fall Lawyer
Finally, call us as soon as you can so our injury lawyers can discuss your rights and legal options. Our experienced personal injury lawyer in Houston will work with you in building a concrete case that ensures you win. No case is too small or too big for us and slip and falls are one of our practice areas our slip and fall injury lawyers have been very successful.
Once hired, our law office will gather all the evidence that proves that the property owner was negligent in their duty of keeping a safe environment. Every piece of evidence counts. That is why our slip and fall accident attorney will go to lengths to ensure irrefutable evidence has been gathered. Such evidence includes video surveillance footage at the time of the accident.
Our personal injury lawyers understand you are struggling with physical recovery. Therefore we will pursue the claim on your behalf and let you focus on your health.
Damages for Slip and Fall Accident Claims
You are eligible for the following damages in case you are injured in slip and fall accident due to a property owners negligence:
- Medical bills for medical care received – covers medical care such as physical therapy, chiropractic care, MRI, CT, Pain Treatment, RX, Surgery
- Future medical bills- covers rehabilitation and ongoing lifetime treatment required due to your injures
- Lost wages – covers the wages you have lost
- Lost future earning capacity – if you suffered a serious injury you may not be able to work or need to change jobs
- Emotional trauma – compensation for the stress from your injuries or wrongful death of a family member
- Physical pain and suffering – compensation for pain and suffering and discomfort you have endured as a result of your injuries
- Physical impairment, disfigurement, and disability – compensation for long-term consequences of the slip and fall accident.
- Home renovation due to disability – if you are injured you need to make your home suit your disability needs.
However, the property owner and their insurance company will ensure they compensate you with the least amount possible. That is why you need a knowledgeable slip and fall attorney in Houston, TX to help you get the money you deserve. You can count on our law firm to get that done. We understand your struggle and therefore offer a free consultation and case review to discuss the best way to get you fully compensated.
Texas Law & Slip and Fall Accidents
Several laws come into play when you choose to pursue a slip and fall accident claim in Houston and other areas of Texas. Here is what you need to know in case you are considering a claim.
Texas Premises Liability Law
A property owner is required by the premises liability law to take certain measures to ensure their premises are safe. Basing your claim on the premises, liability law requires that you prove the following things:
- The property owner owes you a legal duty
- There was a breach of that duty by the owner of the property or responsible third-party
- You sustained an injury as a result of the property owner’s breach of that duty
In the case of slip and fall accidents, you must prove the following three things for you to prevail on the premises liability law:
- Dangerous conditions existed on someone else’s property
- The property owner or responsible third-party knew or should have known about the dangerous conditions
- The property owner’s failure to remedy the dangerous condition resulted in your slip and fall accident injuries.
Although it may look straightforward, it is not as easy as it looks. You can be challenged on any of the requirements, and unless you have concrete evidence and the backing of an experienced law firm and slip and fall attorney, you are more likely to lose.
Classification of Visitors
Not all people injured in a slip and fall in Houston, TX, are eligible for compensation. The duty a property owner owes you depends on your classification. Your legal status on the property determines to what degree the owner owes you the duty of providing a safe environment. Under the Texas premises liability law, there are three types of visitors:
You are regarded as an invitee when you enter the premises with the owner’s knowledge and permission and for the mutual benefit of both you and the owner. For instance, being a customer of a restaurant, hotel, or store makes you an invitee.
When you fall into this category, you are accorded the utmost duty of care. The owner is required to make the conditions on their premises safe for you. In case they cannot rectify the dangerous condition, they must warn you of the dangerous conditions on their property.
If you have been permitted to enter a property for your own benefit, you are regarded as a licensee. You are not a customer, servant, or trespasser. An example is when you work for a utility company and get access to a property to work on a county water main.
You have a higher standard to meet for you to qualify for compensation when you get into a slip and fall accident on a property as a licensee than as an invitee. Now that the property owner does not benefit from a licensee’s visit, they are not put to a great burden to protect the licensee.
The claim needs to prove that the owner knew or had a reason to know of the unreasonable risk posed by a hazardous condition and failed to make the condition safe or warn you about the condition.
Entering a property with no permission from the owner or lawful authority makes you a trespasser. A perfect scenario is if you get into a slip and fall accident while playing on a secured construction site. Additionally, going beyond the permitted areas on a property makes you a trespasser.
A property owner is not liable for the injuries you get while on their property.
The only duty an owner owes you is not to cause injury to you willfully or through gross negligence. For instance, an owner cannot kill or seriously injure you through willful and wanton conduct that isn’t justified. However, the owner is allowed to use deadly force if they have a reasonable belief that you intend to cause them imminent bodily harm as a trespasser.
Most property owners may challenge your slip and fall accident claim by trying to prove that you had actual knowledge of the dangerous condition on their property. Actual knowledge of the dangerous condition by you as a victim is an absolute bar to liability by the property owner. If they successfully prove that you were aware of the dangerous condition prior to the accident, you will not be eligible for compensation.
The argument is that signage is put up to give visitors knowledge of the dangerous condition. Therefore there is no need for signs when you already know about the hazardous condition.
Open and Obvious Defense
Another defense that the property owner can use is the open and obvious defense. The owner may argue that the hazard was ‘open and obvious,’ and therefore, there was no need to warn visitors of its presence. Based on this defense, the property owner is not obligated to remove or warn you of the danger. For instance, large gaps in the stairway are visible to everyone. The owner will not be liable for injuries emanating from a slip and fall accident in such an area.
But there is a limitation to this defense.
If you have no other option but to encounter the hazard due to circumstances under the property owner’s control, the open and obvious defense cannot hold. An example is when you have to go through a poorly lit stairway to get to your apartment.
Our law firm knows that successfully navigating the premises liability law can be challenging and, therefore, will put our legal expertise at your disposal right from the free consultation to winning the case.
Comparative Negligence & Slip and Fall Accidents
If you have sustained injuries from a slip and fall accident in Houston, TX, you may be wondering whether you qualify for compensation in case you are partly to blame. Yes, you do, and here is how.
Texas is a comparative negligence state, and therefore, your compensation will be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault attributed to you. For instance, if you are found to be 40% responsible for the slip and fall accident and the damages amount to $100,000, you will receive $60,000 as compensation, which is 60%.
An accused property owner will therefore attempt to prove that you are partly responsible for the fall. They may claim that you were acting irresponsibly or was not careful enough. Some of the arguments used by property owners and their insurance companies to establish comparative negligence include:
· You were not paying adequate attention at the time of the accident
· You did not have appropriate footwear
· That the hazardous condition was clearly visible
· You ignored signage about the dangerous condition
There is, however, a limit when it comes to comparative negligence. You will not be eligible for compensation in case you are more than 50% at fault.
That is why having an experienced slip and fall attorney in Houston, TX, is essential if you want your claim to stand a chance of getting full compensation. Our personal injury lawyer in Houston will ensure blame is not shifted to you.
Statute of Limitations for a slip and fall case
In Texas, there is a statute of limitations when it comes to personal injury cases. According to this statute, you cannot file a personal injury claim after two years from the accident date. You should always pursue your claim as soon as possible.
However, your health comes first. Our slip and fall accident lawyer in Houston can pursue the claim on your behalf, letting you entirely focus on your physical therapy and recovery. Our slip and fall injury lawyers know that the property owner and their insurance company will want to drag the case. Our goal is to ensure you get a satisfactory settlement as soon as possible or win the case in court in case negotiations are not successful.
Why Choose the legal team of Slip and fall lawyer Jerome O. Fjeld, PLLC
If you or your loved one has been involved in a slip and fall accident in Houston, TX, contact our slip and fall accident attorney today and let us help you get fully compensated. Here are some of the reasons why you need our slip and fall attorneys in Houston:
· Slip and fall accident claims are time-consuming and complicated
· The property owner and their insurance company will do everything possible to deny your claim even though you may have no fault
· There may be a third-party to blame that you didn’t realize
· Slip and fall lawyers can add value to your slip and fall accident claim
· There is a limitation to the amount of time you have to file a claim for your injuries
· Insurance companies have expensive legal teams at their disposal to intimidate and shift blame onto you
Our accident lawyers know of all the tactics the insurance company and third-party claims insurance adjusters will use to ensure you get the least compensation. One of the tactics is promising to quickly give you a settlement, which in most cases will not even be enough to cover your lost wages let alone your physical therapy and pain and suffering. If you are injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall NEVER agree to such an arrangement until you have spoken to our slip and fall lawyer in Houston, TX.
Contact a slip and fall lawyer
If you are seriously injured, you don’t have to bear the burden of the injuries sustained from a Houston slip and fall accident alone. Our law office practice areas focus solely on personal injury and serving the injured. Call us today for a free consultation and free case review. Our Houston slip and fall attorneys charge nothing upfront and work on a contingency fee. Our principal law office is in Houston, Texas with offices in Austin and Victoria. Our legal team has helped thousands of accident victims in our 19 years of personal injury experience. Our slip and fall injury lawyers have helped victims who were injured in restaurants and stores and have helped victims who were hurt while shopping at Walmart, HEB, Kroger and other stores so call us today to get top compensation for your personal injury claim.
All rights reserved